Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday rejected a proposal to allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine, even on a small-scale basis.
The proposal was one of five suggestions put forth in a report from County Counsel Dan Cederborg after a long, hot summer of zero-tolerance enforcement by Fresno County sheriff’s deputies. All cultivation of medical marijuana, both indoors and outdoors, was prohibited by a total growing ban that took effect in February.
Related Bee story: Zero tolerance remains in Fresno County medical marijuana ordinance
Supervisors appeared to reject substantial changes even before the meeting was called to order, according to an advance story by the Fresno Bee. Although the staff report suggested Sheriff Margaret Mims had recommended loosening the rules to allow cultivation of up to 12 plants, similar to Kern County’s ordinance, she asked board members Tuesday to keep the ban in place for at least another year. Even so, the issue could be revisited as soon as January, when two new board members will be seated.
In the end, board members directed staff to return with some housekeeping changes to the growing ban. They split on whether a neutral hearing officer should be used to hear appeals of fines imposed against both growers and non-resident property owners. The board held several contentious appeal hearings this year, and some of those cases have since moved to Fresno County Superior Court. Fresno County has moved to vacate the fines in two of the earliest cases, but final court hearings have not been held yet.